Our first full day with our Ronnie, Roids, DD & TF. I wake at around 8am with a screaming bladder and a peak out of the bog window tells me it's dry and sunny. I get dressed and take the dogs out. Not to the site dog walk this morning but to the fields that sit high above Whitesands Beach near Sennen,just half a mile from our site.
I let the dogs out and while they run around in the empty field I stare out over the Atlantic Ocean reflecting a little about my life in General. I love caravanning, but I especially love caravanning near the sea. The sea has a habit of bringing you back down to earth and reminding you of how insignificant you really are.
I'd been feeling a little sorry for myself before we came down here. Andy's passing at the end of May has affected me and my family more than I would have expected. Work has been a nightmare and I've been a little concerned about Herself. But here I stand this morning, looking out over the Ocean and realising how in the grand scheme of things how pathetic and insignificant I really am. The Atlantic is vast, and in the direction I am looking the next land is the US of A.
There is a reason for my reflection this morning though, it's 29 years to the day that my dad passed away, aged just 43. I was 17 at the time and his passing left a gaping hole in my life that has never really been filled. I am 46 now, older than he was when he died. He has 6 grandchildren, all now grown up and the youngest of which is 16 and I'm sad that he missed out on so much. Below is a picture of me and him horsing around shortly before we lost him. Happy Days.
Back on site herself has breakfast waiting, not a full breakfast but breakfast none the less. Over our cereal and toast with honey breakfast we pour over the maps on the table to hatch a plan to fill the day.
Herself showered while I was feeling sorry for myself on the top of that cliff so it was my turn to make myself even more handsome. Time for the SSS. Having tipped the skip I scraped my face before stepping into the shower. I got wet, lathered up and started to rinse off. then splutter, splutter the water spat to a halt. I'd gambled with the water level in the aquaroll and lost. Rather than admit this to herself and lose even more respect I wiped myself down as best I could with her damp flannel and dried the rest of the slime off my body with a towel.
I'd left the back of the car open to air it out after yesterday's rain, but by the time I went back out to it the dogs had let themselves out of the awning and were sat in the boot patiently waiting for the off!
Again we take the scenic B road to St Ives and again we cruise the town failing to find a space to park. Undefeated we head off back out of town and park at St Ives Rugby Club and catch the shuttle bus back down to town. We are settled in and very relaxed, until the driver closes the door and the noise it makes sends Tali wild. He's climbing all over me trying to escape through a fixed glass window scraping my legs to bits. His water bottle is also leaking and he drenches me with that too, sending a stream of my blood and shower residue cascading down the steps out of the bus!
We get dropped of near The Tate and St Ives is looking fantastic in the sun.
It's very hot by early afternoon, too hot for the dogs really so we make our way back to catch the shuttle bus. The bus stop overlooks the beach and I notice that there is a gathering of Muslim families enjoying themselves on the sands. While the men, although sporting long beards, are dressed in western beach clothing, while the women are restricted to black burqa and jihab. They are attracting some attention.
Frightened of the bus or not, we are getting on it to return to the car. The £1 fee is well worth it to avoid the mile walk (all up a very steep hill) to the car. Ding Ding it's round 2 as Tali goes ape when the doors close and the ancient bus crawls it's way up the hill, almost spewing pure coal out from it's exhaust.
I get a text from Roids letting me know I owe him £50 for the shopping he's done this morning to put food in the house for him to eat this week.
Now at this point readers our day took a bit of a wobble, well in fact it went tits up! I was a little peckish and suggested picking up something to eat while we explored the many abandoned mine workings along the coast. Herself on the other hand fancies a pub lunch ans has spotted a tidy pace on the road between here and St Just.
I spot a place called the Tinner's Arms which looks to have a lovely beer garden with many people sat enjoying lunch outside in the sunshine. This place will not do though so we plough on. By now we are nearly back at St Just when herself's chosen spot for lunch comes into view on the horizon. We find a table in the nice beer garden of the Gurnards Head and I try and find a way into the pub. All the doors on the back of the building are locked so I had to traipse back round to the front to get in.
I order 2 pints of cider and say that I'd also like to order food. The pints are poured and placed on the bar while the bloke faffs about for 5 mins, I thought he was looking for a menu and note pad. I take a few gulps of my pint and he comes back and holds out his hand for money.
I say "What about food?" and he just shrugs and buggers off. He then points to me and asks someone else to continue serving me. They ask for money for the drinks. Again I say "What about food?" and he just shrugs before muttering that they stopped serving 10 mins earlier!
Those that know me will know that I am not at my best if I'm hungry, and the red mist was descending rapidly.
I returned to our table, plonked the pints down and said to herself "This is lunch!" The drinks were drunk accompanied by an awkward silence before we moved on. By now all the pubs all the pubs on our route has stopped serving food, and it took some time for us to realise that it is Sunday, with all places just serving Sunday lunch for limited hours.
With each aborted stop my mood worsens and Herself is getting the brunt of it.
We arrive in St Just and find that the chippy is open. I get two cod and chips and we drive the short distance to Cape Cornwall where said cod and chips are eaten on a picnic rug looking out over the rugged coastline and the Atlantic crashing against the rocks.
With peace and harmony restored we set off with the intention of re tracing our steps back to look at some of the sights on this part of the coast line. However on the steep climb out of the cape Miranda announces she's thirsty, and very similar to herself if Miranda is thirsty she needs a drink quite quickly.
We divert to Penzance for fuel before taking a spin over to Marizon to look at St Michael's Mount before turning round to look in on the vineyard and cider farm that we've been passing all week on the A30. The were just shutting as we arrived, so in a cloud of dust we spun around to return to site to chill for a few hours.
At around 8pm we are faced with the choice of falling asleep in the van or going down the cove for a stroll. Herself gets changed and just as we are heading out the heavens opened. We decide to sit it out. 10 mins later we have sunshine again and as we make our way out of the site everyone seems to be running out of their vans with cameras in hand and having group hugs, smiling looking up at the hill inland from the site.
For a minute we thought it may be the second coming, but no it was just a rainbow. Feeling a bit left out, we stopped to take a snap before carrying on, happy in the knowledge that we are now in the groovy gang.
The cove is again quite busy with everyone on the promenade taking pics of the skies as the sun drops below the horizon.
We call in at the Beachside Restaurant and settle down on the terrace with a drink to enjoy the last of the rapidly fading light.
We now have the munchies, so take a quick spin into Penzance for some supper which was eaten on the harbour side before returning to site quite late an turning in for the night.
Monday 19 August
I ate too late last night, so a restful night it was not. We wake to sun streaming though the blinds, and my early morning view from our toilet window is lovely.
We do some washing before taking a breakfast of toast and honey in the awning and chilling for a few hours. Every time we go near the car the dogs get excited, so by 11am we figure it's time to make tracks. First stop of the day is the Polgoon Vineyard just outside Penzance. This place is expensive and Herself is well aware that I am having palpitations and settles on a jar of relish. The shop assistant however has seen Herself coming and gets out a posh glass for Herself to indulge in some tasting.
My heart sinks as I note that Herself is now smacking her lips and is quite taken with a bottle of their sparkling wine, but then again it wants to be nice at £18 a bottle. We did not come out empty handed.
From there we took the road to Helston before skirting the massive RNAS Culdrose on our way down to the Lizard Point (most southerly place in Britain). I love this place, there always seems to be so much sea and sky.
We lunch on the terrace of the cafe overlooking the lifeboat station on crab sandwiches and watch a passenger liner glide past off shore.
Back in the car we stop briefly at the Lizard Cider Barn for more tasting and purchase a few gallons in poly containers for consumption later. We make our way to the public viewing area at the air base and spend 20 mins staring at a chain link fence with very little going on behind it.
I wonder if I'd let them know we were coming they might have actually done something in there for us?
Back on the road we detour through the very pretty, but very busy Porthleven and then onto the not quite so pretty but equally bust Praa Sands before heading back to site.
As we arrive I look out to sea and spot the same passenger liner off shore. Loading up the ipad I find out it's en route from Holland to Dublin.
I neck a bottle of Rattler after doing some chores and promptly fall asleep on a chair in the warm sunshine. I managed to wake myself up snoring to find a pool of dribble on my chest and disapproving looks from the stuck up gits in a camper van on the adjacent pitch.
Talking of neighbours the Beamer is still keeping very strange hours with the van curtains remaining closed until quite late and them not returning until very late every night. Herself reckons it's just that they are down here visiting family, but I'm not convinced. I'll keep you posted.
We freshen up and go to Lands End. This place is stunning once the attractions have closed and people have gone home for the day. The natural beauty of the place comes to life.
We stop for a drink outside the hotel soaking up the warmth of the evening sunshine. Supper is fish and chips by the harbour in Sennen Cove before we park up on the headland to watch the sun go down while the dogs run free.
We are back on site by 9pm tonight and settle in for the night with the contents of the cool box for company.